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Supreme Court Rules

Section/Rule:15.05
Subject: Rule 15 - Rules Governing the Missouri Bar and the Judiciary - Continuing Legal Education Publication / Adopted Date:December 2, 1986
Topic:Continuing Legal Education RequirementsRevised / Effective Date:January 1, 2011

15.05. Continuing Legal Education Requirements

(a) After July 1, 1988, except as provided in Rule 15.05(c), each lawyer shall complete and report during each reporting year at least 15 credit hours of accredited programs and activities. Credit hours of accredited programs and activities completed pursuant to Rule 15.05(e) and Rule 15.05(f) may be used to fulfill the requirements of Rule 15.05(a). Not more than six other credit hours may consist of self-study, videotape, audiotape or other similar programs or activities that are accredited programs or activities. A speaker at an accredited program or activity may receive credit for preparation time and presentation time. An author of written material published or to be published by an accredited sponsor or in a professional journal or as a monograph may receive credit for research time and composition time.

(b) For purpose of Rule 15.05(a), a lawyer reporting completion of more than 15 credit hours of accredited programs and activities during one reporting year may receive credit in the next succeeding reporting year for the excess credit hours.

(c) A lawyer is not required to complete or report any credit hours in the reporting year in which the lawyer is initially licensed to practice law in this state except as provided in Rules 15.05(d) and 15.05(e). Any lawyer not an active judge who, during a reporting year, has neither engaged in the active practice of law in Missouri nor held himself out as an active practicing lawyer in Missouri shall not be required to complete or report any credit hours during that reporting year. Upon written application and for good cause shown, waivers or extensions of time of the credit hour or reporting requirements of this Rule 15 may be granted in individual cases or classes of cases involving hardship or extenuating circumstances.

(d) A person seeking admission under Rule 8.10 shall, prior to being issued a license, attend The Missouri Bar annual law update program or a continuing legal education program accredited as provided in this Rule 15 that has intellectual and practical content substantially equivalent to The Missouri Bar annual law update program. Attendance shall be no earlier than 12 months prior to the date the application for admission under Rule 8.10 is filed. The person shall report the completion of this requirement to the board of law examiners as the board shall specify.

(e) Each lawyer who:

shall complete at least three credit hours of accredited programs and activities devoted exclusively to professionalism, legal or judicial ethics, or malpractice prevention. Such programs and activities shall be completed within 12 months of the event requiring compliance with this Rule 15.05(e). Completion of this requirement shall be reported to The Missouri Bar as specified by The Missouri Bar;
(f) For each professionalism compliance period:

Credit hours of accredited programs and activities completed pursuant to Rule 15.05(e) may be used to fulfill the requirements of Rule 15.05(f).

Credit hours of accredited programs and activities devoted exclusively to professionalism, legal or judicial ethics, or malpractice prevention during the July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009, reporting year shall apply to the professionalism compliance period for July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010.

(g) Each judge of the family court division and each commissioner of the family court division shall complete not later than six months after designation or appointment a course of training in family law accredited by this Court's trial judge education committee. This requirement shall be in addition to the requirements contained in Rule 15.05(a), Rule 15.05(e), and Rule 15.05(f).

Each year thereafter, such judges and commissioners shall complete at least six hours of continuing legal education courses accredited by this Court's trial judge education committee relating to family court issues and law. The hours completed on an annual basis may be used to fulfill the requirements of Rule 15.05(a).

Completion of the requirements of this Rule 15.05(g) shall be reported to The Missouri Bar as specified by The Missouri Bar.

This Rule 15.05(g) shall apply to all reporting years beginning on or after July 1, 1993. This Rule 15.05(g) shall not apply to judges who are temporarily transferred or assigned to family court divisions; however judges who have met the requirements of this Rule 15.05(g) shall be preferred for such transfers and assignments.

(h) Each lawyer who is a member of the general assembly may report in each reporting year credit for 15 hours of continuing legal education for service during that reporting year's regular legislative session. Such credits shall not include credit for programs required by Rule 15.05(f).

(Adopted Dec. 3, 1986, eff. Jan. 1, 1987. Amended Jan. 22, 1988, eff. July 1, 1988; Nov. 13, 1989; Dec. 11, 1989; March 22, 1994; Dec. 17, 1996, eff. Jan. 1, 1997; May 14, 1999, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; eff. July 1, 2002; March 7, 2005, eff. July 1, 2005; Nov. 16, 2009, eff. Jan. 1, 2010; June 25, 2010, eff. Jan. 1, 2011.)

Regulation 15.05. Credit and Exemptions


1. Speaker and Author Credit.

(a) Any lawyer who participates as a speaker at an accredited program, seminar, or activity and does not receive compensation, other than reasonable expenses, shall receive credit for the following:

(b) Any lawyer who is the author of written material published or to be published without compensation by an accredited or identified sponsor or in a professional journal or as a monograph shall receive credit for actual research and writing time, but not to exceed fifteen (15) credit hours for any one such work.

(c) The standards set forth in Regulation 15.01 shall determine the number of credit hours to be received for the presentation time, preparation time and research and writing time and the number of credit hours to be received by a lawyer shall be reported on the affidavit required by Regulation 15.06.1.

(d) A lawyer may satisfy the requirements of subdivisions (e) and (f) of Rule 15.05 by speaker or author credit if the presentation or work or a designated portion thereof is devoted exclusively to professionalism, legal ethics or judicial or malpractice prevention.

2. Exemptions.

(a) Visiting Attorneys. Visiting attorneys from other jurisdictions who are permitted to practice for a case or proceeding pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 9.03 and who are not otherwise subject to Rule 15 shall not be subject to Rule 15.05.

(b) Non-Practicing Lawyers. Any lawyer not an active judge who, during a reporting year, has neither engaged in the active private or public practice of law in Missouri nor held himself or herself out as an active practicing lawyer in Missouri shall not be required to complete or report any credit hours during that reporting year unless the lawyer is subject to the requirement of subdivision (e) of Rule 15.05 or the lawyer elects to receive reciprocal credit under Regulation 15.05.5. A lawyer may claim the exemption on the affidavit required by Regulation 15.06.1 which shall be in such form as provided by The Missouri Bar.

(c) Governmental Officials. Any lawyer who is not a judge may, upon application to The Missouri Bar within ninety (90) days of the end of each reporting year, be exempt from Rule 15.05 (a) and Rule 15.05 (f) if he or she is a full-time governmental official and is not engaged in public or private practice of law. The application shall state reasons in support of the requested exemption. A lawyer exempted under this section shall still be required to file the affidavit required by Regulation 15.06.1.

3. Hardship and Extenuating Circumstances. Any lawyer for whom compliance with Rule 15 is unreasonable difficult due to

(a) a physical or mental disability; or

(b) military or other governmental service at an isolated place of duty; or

(c) age or any other good cause upon a written request setting forth the grounds therefore shall be granted a waiver, extension of time, or permission to comply with Rule 15 by an alternative method which may included in excess of six hours of self-study credit. A lawyer should make the written request at least sixty (60) days prior to the end of the reporting year except in cases when such a deadline is impractical or inappropriate. The Missouri Bar shall review and approve or disapprove such requests on an individual basis and without delay. Rejection of any such request shall be reviewed as provided in Rule 15.06(d).

4. Credit for Programs, Seminars, and Activities Which Occur Between January 1, 1988 and June 30, 1988. A lawyer who attends continuing legal education programs, seminars, or activities or participates as a speaker or author in such programs, seminars, or activities between January 1, 1988 and June 30, 1988 shall receive credit for and may report:

(a) The actual credit hours for the program, seminar, or activity as determined by Regulation 15.01 if the program, seminar, or activity (1) was conducted by a sponsor who is designated or approved as an accredited sponsor prior to June 30, 1988, or by an identified sponsor who is accredited pursuant to Regulation 15.04.3 (b) or (2) is an accredited program, seminar, or activity pursuant to Regulation 15.04.3 (c) and

(b) a maximum of fifteen credit hours for any continuing legal education programs, seminars, and activities conducted by a sponsor other than an accredited or identified sponsor and not accredited pursuant to Regulation 15.04.3 (c) if, at the time of the programs, seminars, or activities, the lawyer had reason to believe that the programs, seminars, or activities substantially conformed to the standards for accreditation of Rule 15.05. The hours of credit for all such programs, seminars, and activities shall be determined by Regulation 15.01.

5. Reciprocal Credit. Any lawyer whose principal place of practice is in a state other than Missouri which has a continuing legal education requirement substantially similar to that of Missouri can satisfy the requirements of Rule 15, if applicable, by making the appropriate designation on the affidavit required by Regulation 15.06.1 that he or she is in compliance with the requirements of the state of his or her principal place of practice. Any lawyer whose principal place of practice is in a state other than Missouri which does not have a continuing legal education requirement substantially similar to that of Missouri can satisfy the requirements of Rule 15, if applicable, by completing accredited programs, seminars, or activities as defined in Regulation 15.01.1 or by completing programs, seminars, or activities offered by his or her state bar association.

6. Carryover Credit Hours.

(a) A lawyer reporting more than fifteen credit hours of accredited programs, seminars, or activities, exclusive of self-study, for one reporting year shall receive credit in the next succeeding reporting year for such excess credit hours to apply toward the requirement of subdivision (a) of Rule 15.05 if the excess credit hours are reported on the lawyer's affidavit for the reporting year for which they were completed and are designated as hours to be carried forward.

(b) Credit hours of programs, seminars, and activities devoted exclusively to professionalism, legal or judicial ethics or malpractice prevention may be included in determining the amount of carryover credit which a lawyer may report pursuant to Regulation 15.05.6(a).

(c) For professionalism compliance periods beginning on or after July 1, 2009, a lawyer reporting more than two credit hours of accredited programs and activities devoted exclusively to professionalism, legal or judicial ethics or malpractice prevention during one reporting year may receive credit for such excess hours to apply to the requirement of subdivision (f) of Rule 15.05 for the next succeeding reporting year if the credit hours are reported on the lawyer’s affidavit for the reporting year for which they were completed and are designated as hours to be carried forward.

(Approved eff. July 1, 1988. Amended eff. July 1, 1990; July 1, 1991; July 1, 1992; Nov 1, 2009.